It seems we’ll have to wait a bit longer for the End of History:
Spain’s King Felipe intervened dramatically Tuesday in the crisis over Catalan leaders’ bid for independence, accusing them of threatening the country’s stability and urging the state to defend “constitutional order.”
The 49-year-old king abandoned his previously measured tone over tensions with Catalonia as the standoff dragged the country into its deepest political crisis in decades.
He spoke after hundreds of thousands of Catalans rallied in fury at violence by police against voters during a banned referendum on independence for their region on Sunday.
Catalan regional leaders held the vote in defiance of the national government which brands it illegal — as did Felipe on Tuesday.
“With their irresponsible conduct they could put at risk the economic and social stability of Catalonia and all of Spain,” he said of the Catalan leadership.
“They have placed themselves totally outside the law and democracy,” he said.
“It is the responsibility of the legitimate state powers to ensure constitutional order.”
Pictures of police beating unarmed Catalan voters with batons and dragging some by the hair during Sunday’s ballots drew international criticism.
Catalan regional leader Carles Puigdemont said nearly 900 people had received medical attention on Sunday, though local authorities confirmed a total of 92 injured. Four were hospitalised, two in serious condition.
The national government said more than 400 police officers were hurt.
A king intervenes in a standoff between separatists and a nominally democratic government that is trying, and failing, to bring them to heel… in Western Europe. Not quite what universal liberal democracy was supposed to look like.
Speaking of which, I somehow doubt this is what the inventors of the World Wide Web had in mind:
The world’s first internet war has begun, in Catalonia, as the people and government use it to organize an independence referendum on Sunday and Spanish intelligence attacks, freezing telecommunications links, occupying telecoms buildings, censors 100s of sites, protocols etc.